He mentioned the different years in which there had been no rise, and the signs of the times made it probable there would not be sufficient water that season to undertake an expedition to Shreveport, if the co-operation of gun-boats and transports was required.
In the voluminous correspondence between Halleck and Banks that took place in regard to the proposed expedition, each evidently wishes to place the responsibility on the other in case of failure to reach Shreveport.
On March 5, 1864, Halleck wrote to Banks:
When General Sherman left Vicksburg he expected to return there by the 1st of March, to cooperate with you west of the Mississippi, but he was of opinion that the condition of the river would not be favorable until a later period.
I think it most probable that before this reaches you he will have returned to Vicksburg, or some other point on the river.
Whether he has received any recent orders in regard to his movements from General Grant, I am not advised,